Dilling – NISS personnel allegedly among attackers denying free speech to students

UNMIS Human Rights Bulletin, issued 18 April 2009
Reporting Period: 1 – 31 March 2009

On 11 March 2009 a group identified by witnesses as students, former students and NISS personnel broke up an authorised student forum at Dilling University in Southern Kordofan State attended by around 200 people. Student union elections, medical services and registration fees were discussed before an intense debate began about the ICC indictment.

An hour into the debate, around 40 men arrived in trucks and on motorcycles, despite the fact that entry of vehicles to the university compound is usually restricted. They began attacking the students with sticks and iron bars. Three of the attackers also carried AK-47s, although no shots were reported fired. Ten students were allegedly injured and at least three required hospital treatment.

Despite this, university officials denied that any incident had taken place and are not planning an investigation. The NISS in Kadugli has also denied any involvement in the incident, saying that none of its officers were at Dilling University at the time. Meanwhile, a group of student has lodged a complaint with Dilling police against three current students accused of taking part in the violence.

State agents, including NISS agents and university officials, are under a duty to respect and protect the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association and bodily integrity, as guaranteed by the ICCPR, to which Sudan is a party, the CPA and INC. UNMIS Human Rights reminds both state organs of their duty to investigate the allegations and to cooperate fully with the police investigation.


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